In 1998, following another disappointing Rowing World Championships, Ben Hunt-Davis and the rest of his GB Eight rowing team realised that if they carried on doing what they were doing, they would keep getting what they’d been getting – which was a lot of 7th place finishes!
So instead, they decided to approach things differently, critically, asking the same simple question with every single conversation, decision and action they took: ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’.
Along their journey they learned the sustainable, dependable techniques that put them on track for their gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Ben later co-wrote the book ‘Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?’ with Executive Coach – Harriet Beveridge – to show you how to use similar strategies to improve performance in business, or your own life.
Ben’s inspirational story is not only motivational, but practical and applicable to organisations around the world. For over ten years, Ben has been speaking at conferences and has spoken in more than 30 countries.
Ben Hunt-Davis came to our event and ‘wowed’ everyone with his inspirational and uplifting session. Ben is living proof that the only barriers to achieving greatness are the ones we create ourselves, but not only that he helped us with tools and techniques to remove the barriers. Ben is very warm and engaging and the time we had with him and what he covered will stay with us for some time.
Andy Crook, Head of Customer Experience, Royal Mail
Ben tells the story of the last 24 months leading up to the Sydney Olympics and how the Great Britain Men’s Eights changed as a crew from being a regularly 7th placed boat to a winning one. The story is one of a group of individuals forged into a winning team by following a set of Performance Principles, habitually and consistently, in everything they did. Those Performance Principles were:
– Focus on what’s important
– Focus on performance, in order to get results
– Work together effectively
It is an engaging, motivational and inspiring speech that can be tailored to you and your current challenges and opportunities. The Great Britain Men’s Eights’ collective focus, direction and drive to succeed was captured in the execution of the clear and direct question – ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’.
The simplicity of the question and its implied focus and action consistently resonates with teams and individuals who are challenged to lead themselves and others to simplify process, reduce complexity, innovate and improve performance.
Ben is one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the world. Some of the great value of Ben is that he is an ordinary guy who achieved something extraordinary. The presence of a humble man on the stage puts everyone at ease so they can enjoy and relate to his Olympic story.
The speech will take 45 – 60 minutes and is tailored to fit with your key messages. Click below for more information on the speech process and optional workshops to ensure your delegates can immediately begin to apply the ideas.
Read more about Conference and Team Event Design and Facilitation or call us on 020 3870 7088 to speak to one of our team.
I first saw Ben speak a number of years ago; the way he told his story and his singular focus on ‘making the boat go faster’ became a key driver in my organisation. We recently had Ben kick-off a two day session for the senior leaders in my current organisation and it had a similar effect with this new group of people. It set up our meeting well and ensured we remained focused on the challenges ahead throughout all of our discussions.
Our participants were impressed by Ben’s story and will never forget him. It is an inspirational journey that we can apply to any kind of business or deal situation.
Everyone here is talking about ‘Will it make the boat go faster’, we were all very inspired! Great conference this year!
Having Ben at our 2012 Company Kick off took our event to a different level. His personal experience demonstrated and perfectly supported our company mission to change the game, leaving staff motivated, inspired and focused on the changes ahead. His ability to relate to people from all levels and the challenges of a growing business was spot on. I would thoroughly recommend him to other business leaders looking to motivate and focus their teams.
Thank you to Ben for his excellent speech at our event. We have received lots of encouraging feedback from the delegates and I know that everyone appreciated the time he spent talking to people individually and of course, the opportunity to have a photograph with his medal.
Ben certainly left our sales management team with plenty to reflect on in our session and there was clearly some focused thought on defining what ‘will make the boat go faster’. Thanks to Ben for adding such an inspiring and thought provoking element to our programme.
Ben spoke at our Global Senior Managers Conference and he was both inspiring and thought provoking. He truly engaged with a diverse audience and his message reinforced our Conference objective perfectly. The team at Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? were extremely professional and delivered an excellent service to our organisation.
Ben provided the perfect finishing touch for our conference. His enthusiasm was infectious and people left the room energised and excited. Even now, some weeks later, people are referencing the speech and the messages continue to positively impact our business.
Ben is a highly inspirational speaker and I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a speaker to motivate their team.
Ben tells a timeless tale of daring to do things differently to succeed – a story that truly resonated with my audience of mid-senior managers. His combination of self-deprecation, humour and passion delivers a real punch and, coupled with his thorough research into my own organisation, allows him to take this tale of the extraordinary and make it accessible and relevant to the business world. I had nothing but positive feedback: I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.
Ben Hunt-Davis came to our event and ‘wowed’ everyone with his inspirational and uplifting session. Ben is living proof that the only barriers to achieving greatness are the ones we create ourselves, but not only that he helped us with tools and techniques to remove the barriers. Ben is very warm and engaging and took time to speak with people after the event finished. The time we had with Ben and what he covered will stay with us for some time, we are all in search of our equivalent question to ‘will it make the boat go faster’… a strong long lasting metaphor for us to focus on.
Ben’s speech was truly motivational, but more importantly it showed us how as a team we could transform our business to greater things by looking at both ourselves as individuals in a different way, to how we could work as a team for the betterment of everyone. His speech was powerful and energetic, and we could see that after 17 years he is passionate about his achievement as if it was that September day in 2000. We look forward to taking his key messages on our journey as a business.
Ben spoke during our Sales Excellence Awards dinner at our inaugural global sales and marketing conference in January 2012. He held 518 people in the palm of his hand as we heard about the astonishing training, discipline and fantastic team work required to win a coveted gold medal. Ben tailored his content to fit perfectly into our theme of ‘Think. Innovate. Act’. Over a week down the track sales and marketing team members across the world are still chatting about how they can make our ‘boat go faster’.
Achieving world class performance for everyone, every-day, in every activity
You can’t beat a day on the water to shine the spotlight on team work , behaviours and performance
Bringing your people together in one place can be game changing. It’s a rare opportunity to unite your teams, align your strategy, and come together to commit to a new direction for the business.